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The Cause of and Cure for Judicial Tyranny

Why do conservative lawyers seem to acquiesce to morally bankrupt Supreme Court decisions on abortion and marriage? It’s because they are taught the law by reading court opinions; they are not taught that opinions should rest on a set of ethical principles.

Thus, lawyers tend to treat Supreme Court opinions as if they are infallible commentaries on the Constitution or actual statements of the law.

But here’s the truth: Appellate court opinions are not legally operative instruments.

That’s why the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said,

The Judiciary . . . must . . . depend upon . . . the executive arm and the States . . . for the efficacy of its judgments.

In other words, judicial tyranny will only end when we, the people, remind lawyers, judges, and legislators that court opinions are not the law.


The FACT Report, featured on several conservative radio stations, is a weekly one-minute audio commentary about a political or cultural issue affecting Tennesseans.

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